A working group is to be established to look into improving access to public toilets after it emerged there are now just 13 publicly-owned facilities across Derry and Strabane district
New research by the British Toilet Association into existing facilities in the Strabane District was ordered following a report last year on the toilet situation in the city.
In a report brought before Derry City & Strabane District Council’s Health & Community Committee, Councillors were told that while there was no obligation on councils, toilets were “a vital service” for local people and visitors.
The report states that such facilities can boost economic activity by improving footfall to specific areas, adding:
“They are especially important for certain groups, such as the elderly or those with certain health conditions, as well as for tourists.”
While there are 13 council run facilities in the are stretching from Eglinton to Netownstewart, the report states that there are around 300 toilets in Derry and a further 100 in Strabane available via local businesses such as restaurants, cafes, hotels and pubs as well as shopping centres and supermarkets, which allow public access.
The Council has now agreed to establish a working group to review the survey report recommendations and develop a strategy for public toilets going forward.
Sinn Fein Councillor Maoliosa McHugh said that the availability of baby changing facilities should form part of this.
UUP Councillor Derek Hussey also called for disabled access to be studied.